Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

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Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Gwlad on Wed 26 Apr 2017, 4:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

Since we're all being so nice to each other and we haven't had one for a while,  i thought we needed to relieve some tension with a new Lions thread.

We know that by the 1st test there will be at least 15-20% casualties so we'll lose up to 8 players. Its likely we'll lose a couple before the squad even leaves and unlike the boyos at Rorke's Drift Gatland can call on reinforcements to swell the ranks to hold off the All Black hordes. With the club games and well documented All Black perceptions of what is and what isn't foul/dangerous play, it could get messy.

I expect the following to get the nod in this order. I've picked players who should have been in the squad, are leaders, or who are former Lions and can make an impact.

Props: Healy, Jenkins, Evans,
Props: Nel, Lee, Francis
Hookers: Hartley, Brown, Hibbard
Locks: Launchbury, Ryan, R Gray, Charteris,
Flank: Watson, Lydiate, Wobshaw
8: Heaslip, ?
9: Care, Davies
10: Ford, Russell.
Centre: Roberts, Ringrose
back 3: Kearney. Never Mike Brown

Fire at will.


Last edited by Gwlad on Wed 10 May 2017, 6:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by king_carlos on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:44 am

My first frustration is with the ridiculous tour schedule requiring two full sides to be taken. The requirement for players to be called up with effectively no chance of making the test side is pointless. Talk of players being called up with development in mind when it's a Lions tour also hasn't helped the feelings over the players chosen either.

Secondly, what happens now if bad injuries strike during the tests? Are these 'geography influenced' picks for the midweek bench going to end up in the test XIII. If two hookers get crocked in Test 1 and 2 will Dacey really be looking at a bench spot for the Test side?

After that the selection of Dacey and Hill over their Scottish counterparts are just astounding. I really feel for Jonny Gray.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by BigGee on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:44 am

No9 wrote:





Ever thought he may have sounded Gray and the Scottish management out, and said.... "We need cover, there's no guarantee of a game, are you interested..." and Gray said "NO!!".. We do know that Russell and Davies will get games, even if off the bench, as they don't have the depth at 9 and 10, but the others may simply be for training cover, and Gats may not want to insult players like Gray for that role...


There is absolutely zero chance that either Townsend nor the SRU would have blocked any players being called up. Toonie spoke about this already and said that he hoped it would happen. The SRU have been very dignified about the way their players have been treated in what is supposed to be a joint venture between all four unions.

Any Scottish players who deserved a call up could be in Aukland by Sunday morning or even sooner, especially as this was clearly planned in advance. They could be benching for the Lions on Tuesday. Whatever merit there may be in the geography argument, it has been totally invalidated by some of the choices he has made. There are still three test matches to play, any of these players could still be in with a shout, we don't know how things are going to pan out. There will be many more injuries to come yet.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by EST on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:45 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:So is Russell cannon fodder or can he maybe muscle his way into the tests? No one has shone at 10 for the Lions yet and he is in the form of his life.

He has been brilliant on tour so far, and ran the show again today. I doubt he will force his way onto the tests, but he could make an impact if given the chance.

I love how he approaches his rugby.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by No9 on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:46 am

TightHEAD wrote:
No9 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:The WRU have announced that they will have a group holiday in SA in 2021.

Keep posting this drivel and anti Lions thread PLEASE.... That way, if you are out in NZ on tour (which I doubt), you may just end up with a Data Roaming Bill of a few £1000s when you get back, You do realise that NZ isn't in Europe and subject to the new data roaming rules!!! That, on top of the £1000s it would have cost you to get out there will soon take the smile off your smug face..  Laugh


Don't worry I'll put it through my companies books. Very Happy   guinness

Great... I'll let my brother know, I'm sure next time he sends his VAT men in to audit the books he'll take great interest at that practice, ie. putting personal expenses through a company's accounts.. Whistle

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by eirebilly on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:50 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:So is Russell cannon fodder or can he maybe muscle his way into the tests? No one has shone at 10 for the Lions yet and he is in the form of his life.

Cannon fodder I fear(injuries dependant). Really sad for him as he has been one of the form 10's this season and put in another great performance today against the Aussies.

I am just not happy with the other selections as the selected players should be ready to play at the highest level. Just say that a few forwards get injured and it comes to a deciding test, Does Gatland the call up the better options or stick with the guys he has selected now and risk losing the series.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by EST on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:51 am

king_carlos wrote:My first frustration is with the ridiculous tour schedule requiring two full sides to be taken. The requirement for players to be called up with effectively no chance of making the test side is pointless. Talk of players being called up with development in mind when it's a Lions tour also hasn't helped the feelings over the players chosen either.

Secondly, what happens now if bad injuries strike during the tests? Are these 'geography influenced' picks for the midweek bench going to end up in the test XIII. If two hookers get crocked in Test 1 and 2 will Dacey really be looking at a bench spot for the Test side?

After that the selection of Dacey and Hill over their Scottish counterparts are just astounding. I really feel for Jonny Gray.

Both he and Launchbury have cause to be aggrieved.

Gray was fantastic against Oz today - of all the selections, Hill over Gray/Launchbury is simply astounding.



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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by king_carlos on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:51 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:So is Russell cannon fodder or can he maybe muscle his way into the tests? No one has shone at 10 for the Lions yet and he is in the form of his life.

It's the obvious example but, Alex Corbisiero. Came out on tour as an injury replacement after the 3rd warm-up game, didn't feature until the 5th warm-up game. From there he started 2 tests and was one of the stars of the tour.

If previous injury rates in the tests are anything to go by then 'midweek players' who are only two injuries from a place in the Test XIII aren't outliers.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by TightHEAD on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:54 am

No9 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
No9 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:The WRU have announced that they will have a group holiday in SA in 2021.

Keep posting this drivel and anti Lions thread PLEASE.... That way, if you are out in NZ on tour (which I doubt), you may just end up with a Data Roaming Bill of a few £1000s when you get back, You do realise that NZ isn't in Europe and subject to the new data roaming rules!!! That, on top of the £1000s it would have cost you to get out there will soon take the smile off your smug face..  Laugh


Don't worry I'll put it through my companies books. Very Happy   guinness

Great... I'll let my brother know, I'm sure next time he sends his VAT men in to audit the books he'll take great interest at that practice, ie. putting personal expenses through a company's accounts.. Whistle

I think that says more about you than me lol
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by TightHEAD on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 12:29 pm

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by tazfalklands on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 5:22 pm

Cory Who instead of A Grey brother says it all

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Griff on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 7:03 pm

In fairness to the 4 Wales call ups, they've all won on New Zealand soil! Not sure any of the original Welsh Lions, or too many of the rest of the squad, have done that! Very Happy

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 7:12 pm

tazfalklands wrote:Cory Who instead of A Grey brother says it all

Cory Who is at least fit, unlike one of the Gray brothers. At least show some knowledge.

Whatever people think of people like Hill or Dacey getting called up (and I don't agree with it), it stinks of your own ignorance that you don't know who they are.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by lostinwales on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 7:40 pm

I don't think the replacement selections are anything to do with who is the best alternative (bar Russell) and we do have to take Gatland's words as the real reason because we won't hear another.

I'll say one thing to feed the conspiracy theorists though. 2nd row. If Launchbury or Ickle Gray were brought into the squad, guess who they would put most pressure on? As it stands there is a high likelihood that the first choice locks will be Kruis and Itoje. Lawes may or may not be fit to continue, and that leaves....

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Griff on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 7:40 pm

Hill is Wales' vice captain currently!

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 8:13 pm

Gatland doesn't want Hartley, Launchbury or Care showing up and making a mockery of his initial selection. I'd take all 3 after a 15hr trans-pacific flight, splitting a cab straight from the airport to the pitch.

Although i doubt it will make a difference to the test series, I'm gutted for talented players who are missing out because of geography. If Gatland loses 3-0, he has given his critics a bunch of extra ammo.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by international198 on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 8:24 pm

It's cheaper to call up Welsh and Scottish players and it's better for the environment. Fair play to the British & Irish Lions for doing their bit to tackle global warming.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Sin é on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 9:00 pm

robbo277 wrote:Gatland doesn't want Hartley, Launchbury or Care showing up and making a mockery of his initial selection. I'd take all 3 after a 15hr trans-pacific flight, splitting a cab straight from the airport to the pitch.

Although i doubt it will make a difference to the test series, I'm gutted for talented players who are missing out because of geography. If Gatland loses 3-0, he has given his critics a bunch of extra ammo.

I'm gutted for Keith Earls and the Lions because he is in brilliant form at the moment and the Lions could do with him. I saw last week that v. US he had nine clean breaks which when being reported by the Opta website sai:

OptaJonny‏Verified account @OptaJonny Jun 12
9 - Keith Earls' nine clean breaks v USA were the most by a Tier One player in a Test match since Opta began recording this data. Swooping. pic.twitter.com/ynzBo41MG0

But a similar type SH stats website (Electric Ruck) has Earls as their International Player of the Week had this to say:

Electric Ruck‏ @ElectricRuck Jun 15
The Player of the Week this week - Keith Earls
After 8 years, 489 games & 21,065 individual performances we have our new highest score ever!

https://twitter.com/ElectricRuck/status/875248225791295488

Electric Ruck also do a Top 20 list of international players (combining NH & SH).
https://twitter.com/ElectricRuck/status/875250902558429184
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 10:17 pm

Sin é wrote:
robbo277 wrote:Gatland doesn't want Hartley, Launchbury or Care showing up and making a mockery of his initial selection. I'd take all 3 after a 15hr trans-pacific flight, splitting a cab straight from the airport to the pitch.

Although i doubt it will make a difference to the test series, I'm gutted for talented players who are missing out because of geography. If Gatland loses 3-0, he has given his critics a bunch of extra ammo.

I'm gutted for Keith Earls and the Lions because he is in brilliant form at the moment and the Lions could do with him. I saw last week that v. US he had nine clean breaks which when being reported by the Opta website sai:

OptaJonny‏Verified account @OptaJonny Jun 12
9 - Keith Earls' nine clean breaks v USA were the most by a Tier One player in a Test match since Opta began recording this data. Swooping. pic.twitter.com/ynzBo41MG0

But a similar type SH stats website (Electric Ruck) has Earls as their International Player of the Week had this to say:

Electric Ruck‏ @ElectricRuck Jun 15
The Player of the Week this week - Keith Earls
After 8 years, 489 games & 21,065 individual performances we have our new highest score ever!

https://twitter.com/ElectricRuck/status/875248225791295488

Electric Ruck also do a Top 20 list of international players (combining NH & SH).
https://twitter.com/ElectricRuck/status/875250902558429184

Haven't seen any of Ireland this tour, but they are impressive stats.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Cyril on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 10:21 pm

Flatman has just tweeted that he was sad never to have been a Lion, but has just discovered that he was 'geographically naive'. Laugh

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Exiledinborders on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 10:40 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
tazfalklands wrote:Cory Who instead of A Grey brother says it all

Cory Who is at least fit, unlike one of the Gray brothers. At least show some knowledge.

Whatever people think of people like Hill or Dacey getting called up (and I don't agree with it), it stinks of your own ignorance that you don't know who they are.
Dacey has only started one game for Wales. He is not a household name even Wales.


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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by lostinwales on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:58 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
tazfalklands wrote:Cory Who instead of A Grey brother says it all

Cory Who is at least fit, unlike one of the Gray brothers. At least show some knowledge.

Whatever people think of people like Hill or Dacey getting called up (and I don't agree with it), it stinks of your own ignorance that you don't know who they are.

I understand that the younger, better Gray is fit and currently wreaking havoc against the (still, just) 4th best team in the world. The health of his big(!) brother has no relevance

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Cyril on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 12:02 am

Gatland, hang your head.

Any Lion that wears the shirt in the future is basically level with sub-par Welsh internationals.

Nice.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by TightHEAD on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 8:01 am

What part has Borthwick played in this?

Makes his position with England a little difficult when he returns as he overlooked Joe and Chris and accepted Gatlands poor geographically closer excuse to bring in Welsh club players.

The Lions Shirt has been devalued.
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:16 am

More embarrassing comments from the English again. Everywhere I look on the internet they're there, moaning like little children. Pathetic worst fans in the world.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Allty on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:20 am

Big time TH. The replacements are on the bench for Tues game. I just feel for the folks who were on standby.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:29 am

More embarrassing comments from the English again. Everywhere I look on the internet they're there, moaning like little children. Pathetic worst fans in the world.

If Gatland had said that these players were the best players, I would respectfully disagree, but it's his squad and his call.

I strongly disagree with selecting players based on location. These were preplanned additions and he could have requested players be sent earlier.

I'll still be supporting the Lions, but I'm not going to pretend that I'm okay with this decision, nor should I have to offer unwavering praise to Gatland just because he's the head coach of a team I support.

As I said on another thread, he'll live and die by the test results and these players are unlikely to feature. But should he fail, then he's given his critics an extra stick to beat him with.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:51 am

robbo277 wrote:
More embarrassing comments from the English again. Everywhere I look on the internet they're there, moaning like little children. Pathetic worst fans in the world.

If Gatland had said that these players were the best players, I would respectfully disagree, but it's his squad and his call.

I strongly disagree with selecting players based on location. These were preplanned additions and he could have requested players be sent earlier.

I'll still be supporting the Lions, but I'm not going to pretend that I'm okay with this decision, nor should I have to offer unwavering praise to Gatland just because he's the head coach of a team I support.

As I said on another thread, he'll live and die by the test results and these players are unlikely to feature. But should he fail, then he's given his critics an extra stick to beat him with.

You're right Robbo. Gatland is in charge, he can do whatever the f**k he wants if he thinks it's the best call. I would take an experienced, winning coach's call any day over some plastic fans.

I see why they were selected on location given the schedule. It would have been better to have called up additions last week, or just take a larger squad from day 1. I think he's made a mistake there.

Gatland will get bitched at no matter what, he's the head coach of Wales. People have had their say on the call-ups, time to move on now and support the team. Some people can't move on though and in fact are still moaning about 2013, which we won by the way. Some folk won't be happy unless there's 45 players from their own team in the Lions.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:57 am

Gatland will get bitched at no matter what, he's the head coach of Wales.

He's also head coach of the Lions and I'll judge him ultimately on his results for the Lions. However I can comment on his decisions and I strongly disagree with this one.

I also don't like the insinuations that I'm a plastic fan or won't be happy until 45 England players are in the squad, so I'm going to end this interaction here. I've said my piece.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:15 am

robbo277 wrote:
Gatland will get bitched at no matter what, he's the head coach of Wales.

He's also head coach of the Lions and I'll judge him ultimately on his results for the Lions. However I can comment on his decisions and I strongly disagree with this one.

I also don't like the insinuations that I'm a plastic fan or won't be happy until 45 England players are in the squad, so I'm going to end this interaction here. I've said my piece.

I certainly don't think that of you, but there are a lot of them on here and every other platform I check.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by lostinwales on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:28 am

robbo277 wrote:
Gatland will get bitched at no matter what, he's the head coach of Wales.

He's also head coach of the Lions and I'll judge him ultimately on his results for the Lions. However I can comment on his decisions and I strongly disagree with this one.

I also don't like the insinuations that I'm a plastic fan or won't be happy until 45 England players are in the squad, so I'm going to end this interaction here. I've said my piece.

This is it. I can appreciate aspects of why this has happened, but as far as complaints go its not the 'plastic fans' that are an issue. Its not even the wind'em'up sports journos who don't know any different.

Its the complaints from a long list of former Lions that should be concerning

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:34 am

mikey_dragon wrote:More embarrassing comments from the English again. Everywhere I look on the internet they're there, moaning like little children. Pathetic worst fans in the world.
Welsh legends have also criticised the decision. Presumably, you think they are moaning like little children.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by BamBam on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:49 am

Even the geographical excuse is utter horse schit when Dacey and Hill (not household names in their Welsh backwaters) are picked over Fraser Brown and Jonny Gray

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:52 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:More embarrassing comments from the English again. Everywhere I look on the internet they're there, moaning like little children. Pathetic worst fans in the world.
Welsh legends have also criticised the decision. Presumably, you think they are moaning like little children.

Seems like they're critiquing as are some fans. Most English are moaning like little children and have been since 2013. They moaned in 2009 too when 'not enough' of their players were picked. I think people should realise that the tours that pre-date the year 2000 are over, that's if you accept that the only way to win a series is the way Gatland has been doing it. If you wanna lose but have a good time then carry on thinking we're still in the semi-pro era.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by wayne on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:52 am

Have to say it not only devalues the Lions jersey and heritage, it also has ramifications for the Wales match next Friday, what will it do, when players like Dillon Lewis, Ryan Elias, Aled Davies and whoever has to play in the 2nd row, come into contact with serious Internationals from Samoa, these are brutal (in an entirely fair way), and could see some really serious injuries.

For the devaluing of the Lions jersey, the only player that deserved to be called up was Finn Russell, I put in before this tour started that he should have been in there before my own player (Dan Biggar), Dan IMO has conducted himself very well out there, but anybody that thinks Cory Hill should be out there before the likes of Gray, Launchberry, Toner and a number of others, Dacey before Ford and Cronin, (Hartley shouldn't be anywhere near this squad), Gareth Davies before Care, Ally Price. Francis might be a reasonable option, yet if WP Nel was available he'd definitely be behind him
The point is that if Scottish players are close enough and deemed good enough to play in certain positions, the ones I've mentioned are far superior to the Welsh ones called in, they should have been as well.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 10:53 am

BamBam wrote:Even the geographical excuse is utter horse schit when Dacey and Hill (not household names in their Welsh backwaters) are picked over Fraser Brown and Jonny Gray

That I agree with, but I'm going to move on rather than whinge about it for the next 10 years!

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 11:03 am

mikey_dragon wrote:...Seems like they're critiquing as are some fans. Most English are moaning like little children...
They are all saying exactly the same thing. If you think that's moaning like children, then you must think that the likes of Graham Price, Stephen Ferris, Shane Williams, Ian McGeechan, Jiffy and Tom Shanklin are all moaning like children.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 11:10 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
They are all saying exactly the same thing.

No they aren't.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Scottrf on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 11:36 am

Mikey is a complete muppet, does anyone on here enjoy reading his comments? All he does is whinge about English people, pathetic xenophobe.
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by 123456789 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 12:15 pm

The call ups are disappointing, Cory Hill may be a very good player but in our Islands we're blessed with some of the best second rows in the world. I'd say, in no particular order; Lawes, Launchbury, Itoje, Kruis, Jones, Gray, Gray, Toner, Henderson and Ryan could all make a case for being in the top 15 Second Rows in the world. Add in the likes of Ball, Charteris, Gilchrist and Swinson who have significantly more international and club experience at the highest level. I've no issue with Hill personally, if I got a call up I'd be on the next plane, and I'm a second rate centre with a gammy knee. I'm not sure I agree with the conspiratorial view that Gatland is trying to expose Welsh players to a higher level but I'd much prefer it if Gatland had chosen previous Lions, as far as possible, for this kind of short term call up or players who could compete for test places.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 1:02 pm

The fees paid to the WRU for these players participation should be withheld as there is a very strong argument for saying that collusion may have occurred to bolster the WRU coffers. Nobody on here seriously suggest that Hill, Dacey of Francis are better that the Scottish equivalents also available in the same time zone. Webb is more debatable and he does have experience with Biggar.

The time zone shift does not work as an argument; as has been said already, this tour is very attractional, we could easily lose two locks, or props and then these guys are the only options. A tired Launchbury is still three times better than Cory Hill, as is a tired Hartley better than Dacey.

It shows that Gatland looks at the post as a job and does not share the ethos or spirt of the Lions, shirts have to be earned, not just dished out to substandard players because they are available and can earn your bosses a fat cheque. There is a lot of anti Lions feeling out there due to the amount of players that come back injured and struggle for a year afterwards, the clubs, English clubs in particular have a lot of power when it comes to how the game is run, Gatland is just feeding the doubters. The Pro-Lions side, can no longer argue that it is an honour to be picked for the Lions, they are the best of the best in the 4 nations and it is every players dream to own a Lions shirt as it shows just how good you are.

Players dream all their lives of playing for the Lions, three of these third raters are going to get awarded Lions shirts for being in the same time zone and Welsh.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by George Carlin on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 3:06 pm

If Gatland has any brains at all, he will keep Finn Russell with the touring squad.

He's one kick to Biggar away from sticking him on a test bench.
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by 123456789 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 3:27 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:The fees paid to the WRU for these players participation should be withheld as there is a very strong argument for saying that collusion may have occurred to bolster the WRU coffers. Nobody on here seriously suggest that Hill, Dacey of Francis are better that the Scottish equivalents also available in the same time zone. Webb is more debatable and he does have experience with Biggar.

The time zone shift does not work as an argument; as has been said already, this tour is very attractional, we could easily lose two locks, or props and then these guys are the only options. A tired Launchbury is still three times better than Cory Hill, as is a tired Hartley better than Dacey.

It shows that Gatland looks at the post as a job and does not share the ethos or spirt of the Lions, shirts have to be earned, not just dished out to substandard players because they are available and can earn your bosses a fat cheque. There is a lot of anti Lions feeling out there due to the amount of players that come back injured and struggle for a year afterwards, the clubs, English clubs in particular have a lot of power when it comes to how the game is run, Gatland is just feeding the doubters. The Pro-Lions side, can no longer argue that it is an honour to be picked for the Lions, they are the best of the best in the 4 nations and it is every players dream to own a Lions shirt as it shows just how good you are.

Players dream all their lives of playing for the Lions, three of these third raters are going to get awarded Lions shirts for being in the same time zone and Welsh.


This is why I believe it should have been players who have toured in the past who got the nod, if Gatland is determined to throw the game I'd rather he didn't chuck the shirt while he's at it. The excuse that it's been planned for months is one being bandied about but that's utter rubbish, why play the game a before then and secondly I thought the whole point of the bloated squad was to cover things like this. I've no problem with the players, nor even the fact that they're Welsh but that relatively they're not very good. If this was planned all along, why were the likes of Launchbury, Gray etc. (i.e players who deserved call ups) not summoned this time last week. The two excuses do not go hand in hand, I don't for one second believe the conspiracies that Gatland did it for Wales as some grand conspiracy but it doesn't look great.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 4:27 pm

123456789 wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:The fees paid to the WRU for these players participation should be withheld as there is a very strong argument for saying that collusion may have occurred to bolster the WRU coffers. Nobody on here seriously suggest that Hill, Dacey of Francis are better that the Scottish equivalents also available in the same time zone. Webb is more debatable and he does have experience with Biggar.

The time zone shift does not work as an argument; as has been said already, this tour is very attractional, we could easily lose two locks, or props and then these guys are the only options. A tired Launchbury is still three times better than Cory Hill, as is a tired Hartley better than Dacey.

It shows that Gatland looks at the post as a job and does not share the ethos or spirt of the Lions, shirts have to be earned, not just dished out to substandard players because they are available and can earn your bosses a fat cheque. There is a lot of anti Lions feeling out there due to the amount of players that come back injured and struggle for a year afterwards, the clubs, English clubs in particular have a lot of power when it comes to how the game is run, Gatland is just feeding the doubters. The Pro-Lions side, can no longer argue that it is an honour to be picked for the Lions, they are the best of the best in the 4 nations and it is every players dream to own a Lions shirt as it shows just how good you are.

Players dream all their lives of playing for the Lions, three of these third raters are going to get awarded Lions shirts for being in the same time zone and Welsh.


This is why I believe it should have been players who have toured in the past who got the nod, if Gatland is determined to throw the game I'd rather he didn't chuck the shirt while he's at it. The excuse that it's been planned for months is one being bandied about but that's utter rubbish, why play the game a before then and secondly I thought the whole point of the bloated squad was to cover things like this. I've no problem with the players, nor even the fact that they're Welsh but that relatively they're not very good. If this was planned all along, why were the likes of Launchbury, Gray etc. (i.e players who deserved call ups) not summoned this time last week. The two excuses do not go hand in hand, I don't for one second believe the conspiracies that Gatland did it for Wales as some grand conspiracy but it doesn't look great.

But who?

Hibbard and Youngs would be your options at 2, but Youngs would obviously decline.
Jenkins, Grant, Court, Jones and Stevens are your options at prop, with Healy injured.
With Richie Gray injured, your options at lock are Parling or Evans
At 9, the only option is Mike Phillips, and the only player on the 2013 tour who isn't in NZ already who has ever played 10 at any level is Billy Twelvetrees.

Hibbard, Jenkins, Adam Jones, Geoff Parling, Mike Phillips and Billy Twelvetrees rocking up in NZ would be very, very marginally less bad.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by robbo277 on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 4:38 pm

While I've been looking at the 2013 tour to see who was in that squad for the above post:

Twelvetrees was called from Argentina on 12th June
Wade was called from Argentina on 15th June
Barritt was called from England on 15th June

All three started against the Brumbies on the 18th June.

Gatland could have called players from the England camp at any time before they kicked off vs Argentina and all would have been ready to bench against the Chiefs. Then, once they'd bedded in, you'd have strong options for the Hurricanes game and even the latter tests.

No reason players couldn't have been called from the Ireland squad in Japan either, which is on a relatively similar timezone to NZ.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 5:08 pm

Donal Lenihan is another experienced lions hand to say he regrets Gatland's decision.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Griff on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 6:06 pm

Here's a left field point of view/argument/suggestion: if these sub-standard called up players (Russell and Davies excepted) really are just to hold the tackle bags and not be considered for the tests; if they are really just to make up the numbers so as not to risk the remaining 1st team; would it not be a huge kick in the balls for a big name player like Gray or Launchberry or Care to get the call and be told the same, I.e. we just need some cannon fodder so that we do not risk the main players? Maybe Gats thought that was disrespectful to those guys but would be acceptable to some boys who would be happy to play a filler role for a week or so?

This is not a view that I hold or would do if I was coach. I'd go for the best available, call them up, and if they forced their way into the test team then fair enough. But maybe Gatland has seen the time it takes for players to gel and wants only a test side from those players remaining who've had time together, so new call ups have no test side chance in his plans. So better not to offend star players with a bit part role?

I don't know. Just one idea. Hope it's treated as such! Run

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by king_carlos on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 6:25 pm

That's the argument being used by the Lions management, Griff. Two problems with it though:

1. Given how high injury rates are in Lions tests there is a decent chance and plenty of precedent for players called up at this stage featuring in the tests. As such calling these guys up now as apposed to superior players is lacking foresight at best. It could leave Gatland with a choice between giving substandard players a test place or bringing replacements into the systems even later than this.

2. The Lions is built around tradition. Yes it is run solely as a money grabbing exercise now but the huge revenues it creates come from huge fan interest. That fan interest comes from the nature of 'the best from all 4 home nations' coming together and the history behind it. If you dilute the way Lions are selected to 'geographically influenced' tackle bag holders then you risk losing that fan interest.

It also risks alienating the players on tour. The Lions are viewed as the highest honour, for Cory Hill to have that honour next to his name head of Jonny Gray or Launchbury is going to naturally anger people. That is not Hill's fault at all of course, he is a professional sportsman who has worked incredibly hard to get where he has and naturally accepted the honour of a Lions call-up. Sadly it was a huge lack of foresight from the Lions management to not expect a critical reaction to these call-ups.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by Griff on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 6:50 pm

Can't argue with any of that, King Carlos. Like I said, I wouldn't have 'done a Gatland' myself. Just theorising on the potential motives. Some are claiming on various social media outlets that this has been done intentionally to spite those players left at home like Launchberry. I.e. In case they played really well and showed up his original squad and decision not to take them from the start. I don't think Gats would do that, and think it's a conspiracy theory at best. But then I wouldn't have done this either.

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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by TightHEAD on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 6:57 pm

It is the sort of thing Gatland would do. Apparently the rumour is Launcbury whipped Gatland with a wet towel after the game at the MS this year.
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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

Post by EST on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 7:07 pm

Griff wrote:Can't argue with any of that, King Carlos. Like I said, I wouldn't have 'done a Gatland' myself. Just theorising on the potential motives. Some are claiming on various social media outlets that this has been done intentionally to spite those players left at home like Launchberry.  I.e. In case they played really well and showed up his original squad and decision not to take them from the start. I don't think Gats would do that, and think it's a conspiracy theory at best. But then I wouldn't have done this either.

It is genuinely difficult to understand Gats rationale in all of this, none of the explanations I have heard stand up to any scrutiny really.


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Re: Lions reinforcements (or why we should learn to love Roberts)

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